Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe in Montana on Student Debt, More
The one and only Mike Rowe, YES that Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs, was in Montana for an ACE Scholarship fundraiser in Manhattan. I had a chance to catch up with Mike Rowe and Jake Penwell with ACE Scholarships before the event.
We talked student loan debt, the importance of trades education, and of course the new season of Dirty Jobs that is coming up. More importantly, we had this conversation BEFORE Joe Biden announced the $500 billion student loan handout. The great part about that is that we took the politics out of the discussion, and just had a common sense conversation about student loan debt, high wage blue collar jobs that can't be filled, and the need to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to education at every level.
Mike Rowe on student loan debt:
Rowe: I went to a community college for two years out of high school, back in 1982, took a year off, went to work. And then I went to a university for a couple of years, and finally wound up with some sort of degree in communications or philosophy and a couple of other things. Point is- that exact same course load today costs $95,000. Back then it cost $10,500. So you just can't talk about the value of college or the importance of a four year investment, without taking a cold, hard look at the reality of how much it costs. And for so many people, it's just a non- starter...something has to stop, because universities have essentially been given permission to charge whatever they want to charge. We freed up a bottomless well of free money, and we've told an entire generation that they're screwed if they don't go in this path. So it's really no wonder that Stanford and Harvard now have endowments of close to $50 billion, and a lot of their students, a lot of their graduates, are going to be paying off their debt for decades to come.
Mike Rowe on the importance of the trades:
Rowe: When I go back and talk to somebody who maybe took an $8,000 scholarship- somebody I gave $8,000 to four years ago- and I sit down to ask them how they're doing, and they tell me about the fact that they hired their best friend who's a plumber. And then they hired an electrician, and then a couple of HVAC guys, and now they got three vans, and they're running a mechanical contracting business- that matters. That's the kind of story that cuts through and gets the attention of parents, and guidance counselors, and kids who are legitimately trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their life.
Full audio with Mike Rowe and Jake Penwell: